The Environmental Protection Agency will form a committee to advise the administrator on environmental policy issues impacting farms, ranches and rural communities and operate under the rules of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

The committee will meet twice a year and will consist of about 25 members representing: (1) large and small farmers, ranchers and rural communities; (2) rural suppliers, marketers and processors; (3) academics and researchers who study environmental issues impacting agriculture; (4) tribal agricultural groups; and (5) environmental and conservation groups.

Initially, EPA will ask the committee to focus on the following three issues:

  • How EPA's policies and regulations on climate change and renewable energy will affect the agriculture community. The agricultural industry -- through the development of renewable energy sources -- can play a significant role in the nation's ability to reduce its dependence on oil imports, as well as be a source and repository of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • An environmental strategy for livestock operations that considers regulatory and voluntary approaches and provides tools for producers to attain superior environmental performance.
  • Development of a constructive approach to advancing sustainable agriculture and protection of the environment, addressing communication between environmental and agricultural interests and urban encroachment in rural areas.

Source: EPA